I came to King's in 2011 from the English Department at the University of York, where for six years I was lecturer in Contemporary Literature. I earned my BA in English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and my MA and PhD at Rutgers University. Before taking up my post at York, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Pembroke Center at Brown University.
My research focuses on three main areas: contemporary literature and culture, with a particular emphasis on the intersection between vernacular forms and political theory; cultural theory; and post-war American Left political culture and aesthetics, including second-wave feminism and the New Left. My recent monograph centres on what I call 'the microeconomic mode', a dominant 21st-century cultural formation that combines aesthetic strategies of abstraction with narratives focused on extreme circumstance and threats to survival.
The Microeconomic Mode: Political Subjectivity and Contemporary Popular Aesthetics was published in June 2018 by Columbia University Press, and essays on this topic have also appeared in Social Text (2013), Novel (forthcoming), and the edited collections Neoliberalism and Contemporary Literary Culture (Johns Hopkins UP, forthcoming) and Old and New Media after Katrina (2011). My previous publications include 'Genres of Neoliberalism', a special issue of Social Text co-edited with Gillian Harkins (2013); the essay collection Theory after 'Theory', co-edited with Derek Attridge (Routledge 2011); and Popular Feminist Fiction as American Allegory: Representing National Time (Palgrave 2008).
I welcome PhD applications in any of these research areas. For more details, please see my full research profile.
My teaching focuses on contemporary literature and popular culture, particularly in the American context, and various strands of political and cultural theory. At the undergraduate level I currently teach an experimental module on ‘vernacular theory’, in which we explore the theoretical work enacted in popular aesthetic forms, and at the MA level I co-teach a module that interrogates the specific and new shapes that political violence takes in the present. I created and with Dr Seb Franklin co-convene the MA in Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory.